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Israeli envoy gets UN post despite Arab opposition

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    Last update - 12:16 04/04/2009 Israeli envoy gets UN post despite Arab opposition By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2009
      Last update - 12:16 04/04/2009       
      Israeli envoy gets UN post despite Arab opposition
      By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent
      Israel's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Carmon, was elected chairman of the UN Commission on Population and Development Friday despite strong opposition from Arab states.
      Carmon was elected by a total of 28 votes in favor and nine votes against. He was the candidate for the Western European and others group, of which Israel is an affiliate member.

      Carmon told Haaretz on Friday that "Israel has proved once again to the international community that it has something to offer and contribute on social issues in which it specializes."
      The committee, a part of the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is composed of 47 member states and convenes once a year. The new role means Carmon will have influence on social issues discussed at the UN, such as family planning.
      Arab envoys were made aware several days earlier of the European bloc's intention to put forward Carmon as their candidate, leading led to intensive efforts on their part to foil the bid.
      The Arab envoys sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in which they wrote of their objection to the representative of an "occupying state" being elected as the head of an important UN body.
      Heads of UN committees are usually elected unanimously, although this time that was made impossible because of the Arab opposition.
      The Syrian, Iranian, Lebanese and Qatari envoys delivered strongly-worded speeches against Carmon before the vote, leading Western diplomats to express their disappointment at the fact that a professional voting process had been turned into a political debate.
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